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Peters urges Fiji commander to stop threats

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

1 November 2006

Peters urges Fiji commander to stop threats

Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed New Zealand’s deep concern at continued threats from the Fiji Military Commander against the democratically elected government of Fiji.

Mr Peters urged Commodore Bainimarama, and the Republic of Fiji Military Force, to respect their constitutional roles and the status of Fiji’s elected multi-party government.

“New Zealand has reiterated at every opportunity its strong view that the military should have no political role in a democracy," Mr Peters said.

"Commodore Bainimarama should consider very carefully the impact of his words and actions and refrain from further threats or action against the multi-party government, which was elected by the Fiji people in May this year.

“Any action against the government would undermine the peoples’ choice. Not only would it be unconstitutional, it could also damage the stability and prosperity of Fiji and the well being of the Fiji people.

“As a close friend of Fiji, New Zealand is also concerned about the potential effect of any action by the Fiji military forces on Fiji’s reputation, economy, and its standing as a regional leader,” Mr Peters said.

Commodore Bainimarama is currently travelling in the Middle East visiting troops. He has said he intends to return to Fiji on 8 November.

ENDS


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